Travel

My travel bucket list

In my early 20’s I was lucky enough to visit, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Singapore and various European locations. However since having children the travelling took a back seat and we spent time visiting various parts of the UK. Last year however we took the children to Crete and to Finland, which has given me the travel bug. It’s made me think about places I would like to visit. Ok, it’s not going to all happen right now, but there are so many beautiful places in the world to visit, it’s hard to have a small bucket list.

My travel bucket list

I have often read about families selling everything up and going travelling for as long as possible and as much I this would be amazing, I just don’t think we would be brave enough to do it. However, I have put together my travel bucket list, of 3 destinations that I would love to visit.

Bali

I have friend who have visited Bali and just listening to them talk about this paradise location makes me want to visit. Bali is one of the many islands found within Indonesia, it is home to about 4 million people and well know for it’s culture and spirituality. There is a range of landscapes from sandy beaches, to mountains, hills and rugged coast lines. Bali has a wealth of culture and history, it’s a great location for both relaxation and adventure. Bali is a brilliant destination for water sports and well as spiritual retreats. Bail is on my bucket travel list because whatever you are looking for Bali has it.

Mauritius

The island of Mauritius is set in the Indian Ocean, it is very popular destination with honeymooners. Mauritius has those picture perfect turquoise waters and white sand beaches, perfect for spending your days enjoying cocktails and enjoying swimming in the warm waters. Mauritius also is great for water sports.

The island of Mauritius isn’t just about beaches and swimming, it is home to amazing cuisine, history, culture. There is also the possibility to travel around the island to different locations, the Botanical gardens, rum distillery, navel museums and not forgetting snorkelling on the coral reefs around the island. The island has everything you could want from a paradise destination holiday.

Thailand

travel-bucket-list

Top of my travel bucket list is Thailand, a place I have wanted to visit for years. I have many friends who have visited Thailand on their travels, I also have a friend who is wanting to move over to Thailand to live. I however am drawn to Thailand for its tropical climate, diverse range of lifestyles, culture, cities, history, paradise beaches and the possibility to island hop.

Thailand offers secluded retreats for that time of relaxation away from the busy tourist areas. The little islands of Thailand are all so very beautiful each offering something different. If you are wanting the busier night life then that can be found in Patong or the capital of Bangkok were you can find more of that city life, with apartment builds and hotels, lots of restaurant and shopping.

Which location would be a the top of your travel bucket list? Destination2 have a a fabulous selection of destinations to choose from, whatever you are looking for you can find it with Destination2 no matter your budget.

 

*This post was made in collaboration with Destination2. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*

Planning a holiday overseas? Don’t forget these five essentials

If you are planning to go overseas this year the first time, you are bound to forget some of the essential items that will make your holiday run smoothly. Travelling overseas is different from visiting one of the popular Mediterranean resorts, and requires more planning. To make the most out of your time and your travel experience, below you will find a list of essential things to take care of before you jump on the plane.

planning-a-holiday

International Drivers’ License

If you think that you can cover large distances in America or Asia using public transport, you might have to think again. UK tourists often underestimate the size of one state in India or the United States. You might be better off driving yourself from the airport to your destination, and visiting local attractions using a hire car. If you stay at Hartford Marriott Farmington in Connecticut, for example, your closest local airport will be over 20 miles away.  Just in case, you will need to have an international driver license ready, so you can hire a car at your location and see more of the area.

Travel Insurance Documents

While you might have your policy number stored on your mobile phone or laptop, you will need to have the policy documents printed off, too. This way, the local travel agent or embassy can contact your insurance company, in case you have to make a claim or arrange alternative accommodation. When you travel overseas, local companies will know close to nothing about European policies and procedures.

Travel Checks Or Money and Visa

When travelling overseas, you will need to pay using a traveller’s check or your card. Some banks will charge you a one-off transaction fee for every overseas payment, which makes going on a holiday extremely expensive. You might be better off with travel checks and vouchers. Cash is not a good alternative, as it is not very safe to keep on you all the time. You should also keep your visa documents handy, ready to show in case you are stopped by the police or need to show a proof of your travel at the hotel.

Proper Cuppa

The thing you will miss the most during your overseas travels is a nice cup of tea. Taking your favourite blend with you can be a great idea, and essential to keep you sane. One of the most important things to remember when travelling abroad is comfort food, snacks, and your favourite drinks. Without them, you might feel frustrated and lost.

Plug Adaptors

Finally, you will have to check what type of plug they use at your holiday destination and invest in a few plug adaptors. There is nothing more annoying than not being able to charge your phone, shaver, and laptop while spending a week travelling. Check out the voltage and make sure that all your electrical equipment will work fine.

Travelling overseas is a great way of experiencing new cultures and something completely different. Make sure you pack everything and print all your necessary documents before you set off for the adventure.

 

Seeing the World from the open road with a road trip

Everyone always associates travelling with hopping on a plane and jetting of to your chosen country. But this is more often than not a nightmare of a process. The hassle of getting through security. The boring part of waiting for your flight. Then the potentially nerve wracking and long flight that you have to sit on. So why not do the obvious alternative and hit the open road. It is more of a personal experience, and you can travel to absolutely anywhere for a fraction of the price. If you’ve never considered a road trip, here is why you should be doing it this year.

The Freedom

The freedom of knowing you can go anywhere you want to go is something special. You aren’t restricted by aeroplanes, you’re only restricted by borders. This does make it a lot easier to plan your journey. All you need to know if what route to take and what borders to cross. You will still need to make sure you’ve got the right visas to get in the country you want to go to. But that’s no different than if you were travelling by plane. Once you’re through the borders you need to go through, all that is left to do is explore the countries you wish to. You can go everywhere and anywhere from the comfort of your vehicle. For more information on how you can make your travelling dreams come true, check out this post http://www.champagneandpetals.com. Comfort leads us on to the next part of the article. The comfort factor.

The Comfort

You’re most likely travelling in a motorhome. It is much cheaper than doing it by car and needing to stop in a hotel every night. All you need to make sure you’re doing is parking your motorhome in a safe and secure place at night. But there are some really beautiful spots around the world that offer this. Inside the motorhome it’ll be like a home away from home. You’ll have a comfy bed, a kitchen and a bathroom. The only difference is you’ll be taking it all with you no matter where you go. Motorhomes aren’t too expensive when you weigh up the costs of going on holiday once or twice a year. You can check out some of the models on, https://www.motorhomefreedom.com/. The drive is usually really comfortable as well. A lot of them have modified seats for extra comfort. You can get big or small ones depending on what you’re trying to get out of it, or how much you’re going to use it.

The Money

We’ve touched briefly on the money side of things, but it is really something that should be twisting your arm. There’s so much money to be saved by just making this one off purchase. The cost of a holiday is actually so much more expensive than you would think. All you need fuel and spending money for the places you stop off. You can cut out the flights and accommodation which is the main reason why holiday prices are so high. The long term benefit of this investment is definitely worth it.

 

Our night in an Aurora Cabin Lapland

Seeing the northern lights is something that is the top of my bucket list. As Lapland is high above the arctic circle the chances of seeing the lights increases. If there is little cloud and the conditions are right you have a high chance during the colder months of seeing this naturally occurring phenomenon. They say that October – April are the best months. Being away from the light pollution is also increases your chances. When we visited Lapland I really hoped that we would get to the see the Aurora Borealis in all it’s dancing glory across the skies.

Aurora Cabin Lapland – Levin LapinKylä

On one of the 7 nights of our staying in Lapland we were lucky enough to spend the night in the most beautiful Aurora Cabin at the reindeer farm of Levin LapinKylä. Did you know that the only people that are allowed to have a Reindeer Farms in Lapland are the only indigenous tribes in Europe, the Sami people.

Our Inghams reps had arrange for a mini bus transfer to collect us and pick us up the next morning. We were to be collected from the K5 hotel at 6pm and to be collected at 9am the following morning, which at first I thought was quite early however we had to be back for snowmobiling at 11.30.

The journey to the cabins took about 30 minutes as we were dropping others off at another location before us. We took with us the basic items for a night away.

Aurora Cabin Lapland

On arrival at Levin LapinKyla we were greeted by the head of the family, who’s family has farmed the land for generations. We were given a hot drink each and the children had a biscuit each too. We all opted for a hot chocolate, it was delicious. Even both of the children loved it. Plus we all fell in love with their friendly dog Santus. 

When booking the aurora cabin you had the option to book at meal to have here as well. I thought it was a meal to have in the cabin, so thought why not book it. The meal cost £150 for the four of us to have a traditional Lappish 3 course meal. So we were given the menu to choose our food from. As there wasn’t much for the children to choose, the chef happily made up fresh meat balls for one of them.

After choosing our food, we were taken to the cabin. At Levin LapinKyla they have 10 newly build luxury Aurora Cabins, they only opened the cabins in October 2017. The night we stayed we were the only guests there. We were taken across the snowy field to the cabins, I was so excited to be staying in one.

Our Aurora Cabin

When we arrived at our cabin Number 4, we were shown inside and told how to work the various buttons and gadgets. The various lights and also the heated windows, so you can see out all night. The cabin was already made up for us, with a sofa bed and a double bed. There was also an en-suite wet room, a desk, fridge and kettle and a selection of hot drinks to choose from.

We arranged to have dinner at 19:30 not in the cabin as I had thought but within the family house, we settled in and put the heated windows on in hope that by the time we came back we would be in for a night with the Northern Lights.

Making our way back across the dark field we were given a little lamp to carry with us, the children of course both wanted to carry it so it was agreed they would do one way each. We arrived in the family house ready for dinner, and were seated in front of an open fire.

A traditional Lappish meal

The Hubby and I both had, Forest Mushroom soup and bread to start with and it really was creamy, full of mushrooms and really tasty. The children both had bread and butter and were both more than happy to munch through it all.

For our main course the Hubby and I both had the Reindeer Stew, mash potato and lingonberry jam. I was not too sure what to expect having not eaten Reindeer before, plus I am not one for trying our new things but really enjoyed it. Reindeer meat is rally quite rich almost a gamey taste. One of the children had lasagne and vegetables and the other had meat balls, mash potatoes and vegetables, both loved theirs and eat it happily.

For our puddings we both had a berry pie, which was more of a large piece of blueberry sponge packed full of blueberries, served with cream. It was delicious I could have eaten it again and again. The children both had crepes with cloud berries, they were also yummy (I might have had to sample them). We also enjoyed a nice bottle of crisp white wine, which the children had fresh apple juice to drink.

Yes the meal was quite pricey, however it was delicious and a real experience to eat in the home of LapinKylä Sammi family. So worth every penny.

Sky gazing and a great nights sleep

After our fabulous meal we made our way back to the cabin, and found that the snow had all cleared from the glass roof. We showered and got ready for bed. We made hot chocolate and snuggled up in bed to try and see the lights, the children were happily watching the skies along with us. I shared a double bed with our daughter and the Hubby with our son, just to save the arguments between the little angels.

After an hour or so the children were both fast asleep and I kept on checking the various Aurora watching apps to see what our chances were, basically none as it was cloudy. So we read our booked and drifted off to sleep. I did however set my alarm for around 2am as the app told me it would be the best time to see it. However no such luck.

After a great night’s sleep in very comfy beds, we got up, packed up headed back to the family house for breakfast.

Our breakfast was a range of hot and cold items, they really had put a fabulous range of items out just for us. The hubby had the hot items, followed by some fresh fruit and yogurt. I had fresh fruit, yogurt and seeds. The children had bacon and toast. Lots of tea, coffee and fresh fruit juices.

The children were given a small gift each from a range of souvenirs they have, they choose a keying and a magnet. The hubby and I were both given a magnet each, which was such a lovely thought and gave us all something little to take away with us.

Our stay at the Lapin Kyla cabins was just fabulous, I would highly recommend it to anyone. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the Northern Lights however it did not stop us for having the most amazing experience with a wonderful Sami family.

 

*Thank you Inghams for gifting us the night in the Aurora Cabins. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*